Though the holidays are usually a time of cheer, not every student has the chance to go home for various reasons, which could be a cause of holiday blues. Some students may live too far away, such as international students, or money may be too tight. As a result, we, Travel4U, have come up with an idea to give students staying in Kingsville, Texas an opportunity to have a memorable experience in the holiday season. We planned out a scavenger hunt.
The scavenger hunt is set for December 17, starting at 1:30 p.m. at College Hall on the Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus and ending at 5:00 p.m. at the beach right next to the U.S.S. Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas. There is no entry fee, though the groups will have to use their own vehicles. The participants are to begin in Kingsville, traveling to all the locations in Kingsville first before driving to Corpus Christi. At each of the locations, the different groups are required to take a picture. This is to prove that they really visited the location and did not just find a photo on the internet. For their travels, the groups will each have a list of places they need to travel to along with the addresses. Then, once finished, they are to meet at the beach next to the Lexington. The members of the first three groups that finish will be put in a raffle. Each will receive a ten dollar iTunes gift card, a USB drive, or an alarm clock. Every other participant in the scavenger hunt will receive a map. Also, pizza will be provided at the beach when the groups finish.
We planned this scavenger hunt with the intention of getting many college students the opportunity to participate. To get the word out around campus, one of our members created two major flyers that provide times, dates, meeting place, and contact information. Also, mini flyers, or flyers small enough to be handed out to students, were created because they are easier to not lose. However, flyers were not the only form of communication used. Emails were created to send to professors at the university, requesting that they inform their students about the scavenger hunt. Also, emails for donors were created with the intention of having donations cover the costs of the prizes along with the cost for food.
The scavenger hunt was created to help students staying for the holidays to have a chance for a fun experience. The purpose is to not only give them something to do, but to also show them locations in the surrounding area that they may not have been aware of. It is a unique opportunity that could create memorable experiences for college students.
Many times during the winter break, college students do not travel home. Sometimes it is because of finances, sometimes it is because because they live hundreds to even thousands of miles from home. However, though they may be far from home, there are activities they could participate in. One interesting activity could be a scavenger hunt. It could begin by having all the students begin at one location and then giving them a list of places they need to visit in both the college town and in surrounding towns. The students could split up into teams of three or four. However, in this specific scavenger hunt, just visiting the locations would not be enough. There would need to be proof, such as taking a picture. However, the participants would need to be in the pictures to make sure that they were really there, not just passing by. Then, after a set time, such as three or four hours, all of the groups would need to meet back at the starting location. Whoever visits the most locations wins first, whoever visits the second most wins second, and whoever visits the third most wins third place. Each of those winning team would receive a prize. Also, there would be a prize for last place. The last place team would receive a map. This activity would be a fun way to let college students not only participate in a fun activity, but to give them a chance to travel around and see the surrounding area.
The Christmas season, as well as other winter holidays, is a time of joy, celebration, and fellowship. However, during this season, many people may also have the holiday blues. There are many contributions to the holiday blues. There may be budgeting issues or the absence of loved ones. Many also worry about cleaning their houses and preparing the meals. However, these are just a few of the many contributions to the holiday blues.
For my family, traveling and buying presents were the two major stressors of the holiday season. Living isolated from all extended family, even living at least three states away from any family, made traveling a difficult concept. If we traveled to my mother’s family, we would have to plow through snow over hundreds of miles. If we traveled to my father’s family, we would be fighting traffic for the majority of the time. The roads were difficult no matter where we drove.
Traveling problems were not the only problems during the season, though. Trying to find the perfect gifts for both family and friends has always been a struggle. Though one of my cousins may have enjoyed receiving a Barbie doll one year, they may not want one the next year. Buying gifts not only includes knowing the interest groups of the recipient, but also keeping the gift in a price range. This would take a toll on my parents, as they struggled to find the perfect gift for my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and coworkers. However, buying presents and traveling are just two of the many contributors to the holiday blues.
Though the holiday blues may negatively affect a person’s winter holiday, there are many measures to prevent and ease the holiday blues. To prevent buying presents last minute, when they may be more expensive and even out of stock, begin buying them in the summer and accumulate them through the fall. Also, to prevent traveling problems, such as traffic and weather, look online to see where the weather may be bad and search for roads less traveled. Also, for those who prefer to fly, ordering tickets weeks in advance can not only help prevent the struggle of buying them before they are sold out, but will also cut the costs of the ticket prices. To prevent other major stressors, such as budgeting, maybe begin to save up each month throughout the year. This would make it easier to pay for the gifts, travel expenses, and any other miscellaneous spending.
There are always some stressors that cannot be avoided, though. Thus, there measures to ease the stress are necessary. For one, exercising and eating a diet rich in both vegetables and fruits, according to Heather Cheek, can help ease the holiday blues. Running, for example, can give a positive outlet to the stress and holiday blues that someone may have. Another useful way to ease stress is to take breaks to calm down, which include meditating and relaxing, as stated by Connie Bennett. These techniques can give a sense of peace. Though the holiday blues may be a discouragement to anyone’s holiday plans, there are measures that can be taken to ease and prevent any dampers on anyone’s holiday.
The Black Hills and the distant Mount Rushmore
As a child, my family would sometimes take travel vacations, heading to unique locations throughout the country. One of my personal favorites was Mount Rushmore National Memorial, located in the Black Hills in South Dakota. The trip to Mount Rushmore was a memorable experience that took my breath away. It was a beautiful day as we traveled through the Black Hills, spiraling around the various mounts. There were towering trees all around, almost covering the whole landscape. The road escalated up the hills, giving us an opportunity to appreciate the splendor surrounding the area. From the hilltops, to the bright blue sky, to the countless trees, my family saw true beauty on the earth. Then, through the hilltops and the trees, the faces on Mount Rushmore began to appear. Eventually, we were able to see the four faces of the presidents carved into the stone and, soon after, entered the memorial. Once inside, my family had the chance to eat, shop, and appreciate the view of the carved hill. It was an unforgettable experience.
Creating Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a place with a rich history. Due to the proposal of various bills, the hill was not carved until the 1920s. The National Park Service wrote that on August 10, 1927, the memorial was dedicated and funding was granted. This started what became fourteen years of construction. Throughout the construction, over 400 men and women were hired for a wide variety of positions. Also, dynamite was used for some of these stations. In fact, 90% of Mount Rushmore was created and carved using this tool. After fourteen years of harsh working conditions and a large use of dynamite, the monument was finished. On October 31, 1941, Mount Rushmore National Memorial was officially completed Four presidents were carved into the rock: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. They each made a significant contribution to the county. Jefferson, for example, doubled the country’s size when he purchased the Louisiana Purchase. http://www.nps.gov/moru/index.htm
Although there is such a significant history, there is more than meets the eye to this place. At many favorite travel spots around the world there are usually legends. This applies even to Mount Rushmore. One website even specifically lists legends in and around the Black Hills area. For example, one of the most famous legends surrounding Mount Rushmore is about a secret chamber that holds copies of important United States documents. However, though this legend is claimed to be true, the public is not allowed to see this ‘secret chamber’. This is only one out of a list of famous legends in the area.
In the Mount Rushmore area, travelers are given the chance to have a memorable experience. They can see wildlife around the memorial, from multitudes of trees to the unique birds flying around. Not only is the beauty breathtaking, but travelers can also participate in different activities. Tourists can take a tour of the memorial, or even rock climb around the area. Also, in the surrounding area there are other caves and parks, such as the Wind Cave National Park, within a two hour radius of Mount Rushmore that travelers may visit. When my family visited the park, though, there was much to do. Between appreciating the sights and visiting not only Mount Rushmore, but some of the surrounding parks, we were rarely, if ever, bored.
Seeing Mount Rushmore was a unique opportunity. It gave my family a new insight into our nation’s history and gave us the chance to understand four of our country’s greatest leaders. Along with learning the history and hearing legends, we went sight-seeing. Mount Rushmore National Park was, and is still to this day, one of my favorite travel locations.